Skip to content

WDW Radio Kids & Teens Day: My Ridley Experience

by Makena W.

I had the pleasure of meeting Ridley Pearson last Tuesday in Clinton, NJ. I’m told that the bookshop where he was signing was one of the first to put Ridley’s books on the shelves. It is very small and compact, so not many kids could fit inside the building. That means that there were limited spots…only 25 or 30 kids and their parents. I decided to wear my “Eliminate the Overtakers” T-shirt along with my WDW Radio pin to show Ridley that I not only love his books but am a part of Lou’s Crew.

What I appreciate most about Ridley Pearson is his interactivity with his fans. Ridley spoke to the group for about ten minutes then held a Q-and-A session that was about the same amount of time. I learned quite a few interesting things like that Disney On Ice would not give him permission to be written about. Giving us a little hint of what is to come, Ridley explained that since the Kingdom Keeper series is going to end in Disneyland, he had to come up with another way to get the gang to the west coast. Disney Cruise Line offered him a life preserver in the form of an east to west coast relocation cruise through the Panama Canal and this problem was solved! We learned that Kingdom Keepers 6 is going to be dark and that he’s almost at the half way point in its writing. I was super excited to learn that there is a family version of the Kingdom Keeper hunt throughout Magic Kingdom in development (right now it is only available to groups of 10 or more.) Also answered in this session was how Storey, Ridley’s daughter, reacted to finding out she was in Shell Game(Storey Ming in the book) -he said it hasn’t totally sunk in yet since Storey is more of a baker than a reader, and she hasn’t gotten around to reading the series yet. When asked about his favorite Kingdom Keeper-his response was Amanda, who he wishes would call him because he has a little crush on her!

After our very animated conversation, books were signed and we young readers talked to Mr. Pearson one-on-one.  When it was my turn, I thanked Jenn (she was there also) for allowing me to streamline my questions and asking Ridley to answer them for my blog last week. To my surprise, she remembered me! After our chat, I spoke to Ridley. I mentioned how I am a part of the WDW Radio crew and he remembered me also! I gave him an envelope containing a copy of my blog among other things. Right before I left the signing table, I recalled what I had been planning to do since Lou mentioned to “the box” that Ridley loves to hug. I said, “Lou said you are a great hugger. I want to make sure he is telling the truth. Can I get a hug?” Everybody in line laughed and Ridley stood up and walked around the signing table and gave me a huge hug.  Goal accomplished!! That’s one more thing I can check off my “things to do before I grow up” list!

Christy Viszoki was behind me in line. My family was in charge of getting pictures of her experience. She was posing with Ridley and she called me over to get in the picture. The picture of the three of us that was taken in the Clinton Book Shop is one of my favorite pictures that I have ever been in or taken.

On a serious note, Ridley Pearson has inspired me in many ways. He taught me to not be discouraged and to write about whatever I want to write about, even if it ends up in the rejected pile. It’s always worth the try because maybe, just maybe, someone will pick it up to read and not be able to put it down and an editor might just want to take the chance on it and put it on bookshelves.

Once again, nobody guessed my “Where in the World?” picture, so it is being reposted. Here is a hint-it is not in any of the 4 main parks.

See ya REAL soon!

Quote of the Week: “What’s the point of college funds if we won’t be alive for college?” ~Maybeck, Kingdom Keepers 3